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Rhapsody (of Fire) - Rain Of A Thousand Flames CD (album) cover

RAIN OF A THOUSAND FLAMES

Rhapsody (of Fire)

 

Progressive Metal

3.48 | 55 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
3 stars A very long E.P., or a reasonably short album, Rhapsody forged this creation in medieval steel and executed the melodies with might while being fueled by the power that dwells in the hearts of men yearning to break forth through the barriers of time to wage battle against the forces of those who oppose...and so on.

Truth be told, the singer would probably get taken down by the first gnome he ran across back in the day.

The essence of glimmering steel is apparent from the getgo, as the title track immediately pounds the listener with double bass rampages and six string workouts with choirs of men shouting about the coming of war while the lead singer sings in a high register with fists clenched and arms outstretched. It's fast and furious, but with emphasis on the keyboards, it's not all that "heavy". The thunderous wails of trumpet synthesizers have more oomph than the guitar riffs. It's fun though, with a bit of cornball narration thrown in just to add a bit of extra nerdy D&D elements to it.

Epic songs are interspersed with shorter non-metal tunage, including the folksy dancy Elnor's Magic Valley, which could make a man yearn to dance with an elfin pixie that resembles Liv Tyler or Hiromi Uehara. The most impressive, epic, and longest track, Queen of the Dark Horizons, pretty much captures the band in full glory. There's catchy periods and sing-along sections that weave in and out of instrumental showmanship and a general bombast that makes me want to rip off my shirt in glory and buy dangerous and obscure tools at a hardware store because that's what real men do...when not fighting dragons and stuff. There's also a female semi-operatic voice that adds a pretty solid layer of atmosphere within this piece, I'm guessing it's supposed to be the Queen of the Dark Horizons herself. She may be evil, but she can sing.

Tears of a Dying Angel deserves special mention as it's one of those few songs that's just hilarious beyond belief with the long emoting narration (about some ancient tome being opened) during the song's latter half. The narrator is so over the top that even The Moody Blues would blush and leave the room if caught listening to this by their buddies.

I know this album is part of some huge saga involving an emerald sword, but I honestly haven't listened to much else by this group, so I can only judge the album for the music contained within...not whether I'm pissed that my favorite character got eaten by a dragon or whacked by an evil queen. I must say the production works for this effort, and as ridiculous and cheesy as it is, it kinda wound up being a guilty pleasure. The short run time might have helped too...an hour straight of this could send me hurtling towards some indie rock underground "cool" stuff. Yikes.

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |

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